Caleb’s Concepts: Cats are better than dogs… for college students


Caleb Garbuio, Columnist

Are you struggling to balance friends, schoolwork, work and extracurricular activities while missing your pet back home? Fortunately, there’s a pet suited to your college needs.

Sorry, dog lovers, but cats are better for college students. They are independent, take care of themselves and are cheaper in the long run. You don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to walk a cat or take it to the park. You can invest the time you would have spent walking your dog on other activities. 

In economics, this is known as an opportunity cost, or what you give up for something else. Getting a dog isn’t only about its cost or the cost of food, but the emotional cost, psychological cost and time spent pursuing other activities. For example, dogs need exercise, which requires the owner to walk it daily. That takes time which could be spent doing other things, like studying. Furthermore, needy pets like dogs give owners anxiety when at work. If you are working or spending time with friends, you will always have your pet’s wellbeing in the back of your mind, which prevents people from living in the moment.

Cats do not have the listed dog problems. They stick to themselves, find random things to entertain themselves with and don’t require constant attention. Think about it, if an alien species came to the U.S., they would think that dogs ran the country. We exercise them, feed them, groom them and entertain them. Clearly, dogs have the better side of the bargain. 

Worried about money? Cats are also cheaper in the long run. According to one article, despite cats living longer, cat owners will spend $13,625 to $17,510 during its lifetime, while dogs cost owners $16,607 to $22,423. This means that there is an overall financial incentive to purchase a cat, because it will cost less and live longer. 

Additionally, they are easier to deal with than a dog because they make less noise. A meow is much softer than a bark. Plus, your neighbors will thank you because cats don’t bark. Additionally, you won’t have to pick up your dog’s poop. Cats only need a litter box to relieve themselves making your job less smelly.

Now, the best alternative is to not purchase a pet. They are expensive and the money that you spend on them could go elsewhere, like a new car or a down payment on a house and that’s just the financial cost. Pets are obnoxious, difficult to manage and have many indirect costs associated with them because fewer apartments cater to them, while the ones that do charge more. Thus, begging the question: is it really worth the hassle? Probably not. However, if you are an animal lover dead set on having a pet in your home, cats are a better alternative to dogs.